The long lull after New Year’s makes us all look forward to the return of sunny spring days. The dreary wintery days are the perfect opportunity to plan for your next vacation . Unfortunately, some of us are still feeling the sting of holiday spending. Here are a few easy tips that can save you a bundle on your next vacation.
Planning Your Next Vacation
The first questions you should ask yourself are about the budget and destination. How much can you spend and where do you want to go? Before I plan any trip, I discuss points of interest and other attractions with my fellow travelers. It’s important that everyone has a good time and gets the most out of their next vacation. Talk about what kinds of activities you hope to do and how you plan to get there.
Once the destination is decided, it’s time to start booking tickets. It’s wise to check prices online to ensure you get the best deals for your next getaway and know the general costs. If you buy admission tickets ahead of time, it means you will have less out-of-pocket spending. Nothing blows a budget faster than unexpected expenses.
Alternative Transportation for Your Trip
Websites like Skyscanner and TripAdvisor are my personal preference to book airfare. They allow you to compare multiple airlines, dates, and set price alerts. Sometimes, they even offer flash deals if your dates are flexible or shop at the last minute. This means you can free-up more of your budget for entertainment. Even though these websites are excellent search engines, I usually book directly through the airline or company directly in case you need to make changes. Third-party bookings are cheaper, but cannot be altered without a ton of telephone runaround or change fees.
If first-class tickets are above your price range or you prefer to avoid airports, then you should consider alternative transportation options. Car rentals, train, and bus tickets can all be purchased online as well. The long distance coaches are surprisingly comfortable and usually provide free Wi-Fi during your trip. Overnight flights, trains and buses are also a good way to trim the fat and save money on hotels. If you want to travel in style, but are still keen on a deal, there are even savings to be made on private jet rental with Jettly. You can benefit from on-demand private jet charter without the added costs of fractional aircraft ownership or traditional jet card programs.
Deep Discount During Your Getaway
The sooner you begin planning your next vacation, the better your chances to find a good deal. The ideal time to book discounted airfare is 45-60 days before your trip. This is when the airlines compile passenger lists and adjust prices based on the remaining seats. It can be a bit of a gamble, but if luck is on your side, you can find flights for mere peanuts.
Also ask your friends or anyone you know works in the travel or hospitality industry. They can usually offer a family and friends discount based on availability. Don’t be afraid to call and ask service representatives if they offer discounts at time of booking. Most companies offer 10% discounts for auto club or loyalty memberships. You may also get discounts through your employers, so be sure to ask before you confirm reservations.
After working for years in hospitality, these were the best ways to cut corners and find the best deals for your next vacation. I would also use the ‘everywhere’ search options if you feel adventurous, because international tickets are becoming much cheaper these days. Your next vacation can be more affordable than you think. A little time and planning can save you hundreds of dollars, or allow you the vacation of your dreams.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.